Study: Rotator cuff treatment provides tendonitis relief

Italian researchers have developed a minimally invasive procedure to treat tendonitis in the rotator cuff of the shoulder that provides immediate symptom relief.

The study, published in the July issue of Radiology, found that ultrasound-guided nonsurgical therapy significantly reduces pain from calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff and restores lasting mobility after treatment.

Co-author Dr. Luca Sconfienza from the University of Milan said the procedure provides a single inexpensive and effective treatment for calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff and can replace other treatments that are affected by several limitations and complications.

For the study, senior author Dr. Giovanni Serafini from Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure and colleagues used ultrasound-guided percutaneous therapy to treat 235 shoulders in 133 women and 86 men with calcific tendonitis.

An additional 68 patients (31 men and 37 women) did not receive treatment and acted as a control group. All of the patients had shoulder pain that was unresponsive to previous medical treatment. Follow-up was conducted after one month, three months, one year, five years, and 10 years.

The results showed that treated patients exhibited a considerable reduction in pain and significant improvement in mobility of the affected limb after one month, three months, and one year, compared to patients who weren't treated.

Five and 10 years after the procedure, the condition of nontreated patients had improved to the point that reported outcomes were similar to those of the treated group.

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